Recommended Birding Apps for West Mexico
Bird Apps for your smart phone are getting so good you almost don't need a field guide. All three Apps below use real photos and include range maps and bird calls. All will work offline so you don't depend on an internet connection. All are free from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
1. We recommend "Merlin" from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It has the most Mexican birds and is easy to use. After downloading the app you must select which databases you want to download - choose all of Mexico, then choose all of USA. For beginners, it has a series of questions that lead to suggested species. You can also upload a bird photo you have just taken, or a bird call, for suggested identification. This app was developed by the Cornell Lab, and requires you to have an eBird account (free and easy to obtain) before downloading.
2. We like the "Aves de Chapala" app. It has photos, calls and ranges for an impressive 285 species seen around lake Chapala. Currently available only in the Spanish language version. Try it and see if it works for you.
3. A good alternative is the "Audubon Bird Guide". This is easy to use, has a good search function to look for likely species, and offers several photos and calls for each species. Unfortunately its database is for the US and Canada, which means you can identify only half the birds you see here in Western Mexico.
So long as your smart phone has spare memory, you should probably download all three apps. Just as we recommend using more than one field guide when trying to identify a new bird, so you should probably ID a new bird using more than one phone app.
Lake Chapala Birders
Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico -- email@example.com -- (52) 376.766.1801
Birding Mexico's Largest Lake